Golf Ireland and partners across Great Britain and Ireland are collaborating on a pioneering R&A-backed Community Golf Instructor Programme. The new training programme will create a dedicated new workforce to help develop the game in communities across the region.
Designed in collaboration with all Home Nation Associations (Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, England Golf and Golf Ireland), the Golf Foundation, along with support from the PGA, the programme will deliver introductory group golf sessions, with the training developed and piloted in 2023 before being rolled out across Great Britain & Ireland in 2024.
The new programme has the full backing, financial support and ongoing guidance from The R&A.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said of the initiative: “We are delighted to work with the Home Nation Associations, the Golf Foundation and the PGA on the introduction of this new programme which will build on the excellent work PGA members perform across Great Britain and Ireland.
“We need to attract more people of all ages and backgrounds from across different areas of society into golf in an accessible way.
“This initiative will develop a larger, more diverse workforce in Great Britain and Ireland that is able to work in local communities and as part of national programmes. In doing so, we will encourage more people into golf at all levels and help ensure the sport continues to thrive.”
The training course will be a mix of online and face-to-face learning, focusing on developing Community Golf Instructors who take a person-centred approach and can create a relaxed, sociable environment for golf activity.
Once trained, CGIs can be paid for their work across defined programmes and initiatives, including delivery in schools, which will be a key focus.
The governing bodies across GB&I are confident that perceptions of the game can be enhanced, as people recognise it can be a sport for everyone, with Golf Ireland CEO, Mark Kennelly, commenting, “Creating this training programme that is based on delivering fun, engaging and inclusive games-based sessions in a format and at a cost that is accessible to all, we feel is game changing to golf within the region and aligns perfectly with our strategic vision that golf is for everyone. Community Golf Instructors will provide additional opportunities for golf to reach new and diverse audiences in settings such as schools, local communities and golf clubs, ultimately growing participation across the island.”
Golf currently benefits from a PGA Coaching network, which continues to develop golfers from grass roots to the elite level across GB&I. The Community Golf Instructors will complement the existing work of the PGA as well as building on the previously implemented Club Activator Course, by increasing access to beginner and introductory golf activity. All with the aim of helping more people recognise the benefits of playing golf and becoming a golfer.
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